previous next

Nemean 4
For Timasarchus of Aegina Boys' Wrestling ?473 B. C.

When toils have been resolved, festivity is the best physician; and songs, the skillful daughters of the Muses, soothe with their touch. And warm water does not wet the limbs so gently [5] as praise that accompanies the lyre. Speech lives longer than deeds; whatever words the tongue, with the favor of the Graces, draws from the deep mind. May it be mine to set forth such speech, in honor of Zeus the son of Cronus, and Nemea, [10] and Timasarchus' wrestling, as a prelude to my song. And may it be welcomed by the home of the Aeacids, with its fine towers, that light which shines for all, with justice that defends the stranger. And if your father Timocritus had still been warmed by the strength of the sun, playing embroidered notes on the cithara [15] and bending to this strain, he would have often celebrated his triumphant son, because he had sent back from the contest at Cleonae a chain of garlands, and from splendid, illustrious Athens; and because in seven-gated Thebes, [20] beside Amphitryon's splendid tomb, the Cadmeans gladly crowned him with flowers, for the sake of Aegina. For he looked on1 a hospitable city, when he came as a friend to friends, to the prosperous court of Heracles, [25] with whom once powerful Telamon destroyed Troy and the Meropes and the great and terrible warrior Alcyoneus, but not before that giant had laid low, by hurling a rock, twelve chariots and twice twelve horse-taming heroes who were riding in them. [30] A man who did not understand this proverb would appear to be inexperienced in battle: since “it is likely that the doer will also suffer.” The laws of song and the hurrying hours prevent me from telling a long story, [35] and I am drawn, by a magic charm on my heart, to touch on the new-moon festival. Nevertheless, although the deep salt sea holds you around the middle, strain against treacherous plots. We will be seen arriving in the light far above our enemies. But another man, with an envious glance, [40] broods in the darkness over an empty thought that falls to the ground. As for me, I know that whatever excellence ruling destiny gave me, time will creep forward and bring it to its appointed perfection. Weave out, sweet lyre, right now, [45] the beloved song with Lydian harmony, for Oenone and Cyprus, where Teucer the son of Telamon reigns far from home; but Aias holds ancestral Salamis, and Achilles holds the shining island in the Euxine sea. [50] Thetis rules in Phthia, and Neoptolemus in the expanses of Epirus, where jutting ox-pasturing headlands, beginning in Dodona, slope down to the Ionian sea. But beside the foot of Pelion, [55] Peleus turned a warlike hand against Iolcus and gave it in subjection to the Haemones2 after encountering the crafty arts of Acastus' wife Hippolyte. With the sword of Daedalus, the son of Pelias sowed the seeds of death for Peleus [60] from an ambush. But Cheiron rescued him and carried out the destiny which had been fated by Zeus. And Peleus, having thwarted all-powerful fire, and the sharp claws of bold-plotting lions, and the edge of their terrible teeth, [65] married one of the Nereids throned on high, and saw the fine circle of seats in which the lords of sky and sea were sitting, as they gave him gifts and revealed the future strength of his race. Beyond Gadeira towards the western darkness there is no passage; turn back [70] the ship's sails again to the mainland of Europe, for it is impossible for me to tell the full story of the sons of Aeacus. For the Theandridae, having pledged my word, I went as a ready herald of the limb-strengthening contests [75] at Olympia and the Isthmus and Nemea, where, whenever they make trial of their skill, they return home with the glorious fruit of garlands; in that home, Timasarchus, we hear that your family is an attendant of victory songs. But if [80] in honor of your uncle Callicles you bid me to build a monument whiter than Parian stone, know that gold, when it is refined, shows all radiance, and a song in honor of noble deeds makes a man equal in fortune to kings. [85] May that man, who dwells beside the stream of Acheron, hear my voice singing, where in the contest of the loud-roaring wielder of the trident he flourished with crowns of Corinthian wild celery. Euphanes, your aged grandfather, [90] once willingly sang his praises, child. Each man has his own generation; and each man expects to speak best of what he has seen himself. If he were praising Melesias, how he would throw his opponent in the struggle! Weaving his words, impossible to wrestle down in speech; [95] with gentle thoughts towards noble men, but a rough adversary to his opponents.

1 Reading with Snell and MSS κατέδρακεν for κατέδραμεν.

2 Following Snell's punctuation.

load focus Greek (1937)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Nemea (Greece) (2)
Troy (Turkey) (1)
Phthia (1)
Pelion (Greece) (1)
Olympia (Greece) (1)
Europe (1)
Epirus (Greece) (1)
Dodona (Greece) (1)
Cyprus (Cyprus) (1)
Acheron (New Zealand) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
473 BC (1)
hide References (33 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (25):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1424
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 134
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 563
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 610
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1123
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 149
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO APHRODITE
    • Thomas W. Allen, E. E. Sikes, Commentary on the Homeric Hymns, HYMN TO APOLLO
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 11.601
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 11
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 13
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 14
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 2
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 3
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 4
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 6
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 8
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 1
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 10
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 2
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 3
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 4
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 5
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 8
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, 9
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter IV
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, Meter and form
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, Dialect
    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Pindar: The Olympian and Pythian Odes, Syntax
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: